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© Brigitte Wolf

Historical Transport Routes

Over the centuries, the area of today's Binntal Nature Park played an important role as a transit region.

Romans and Walsers, hunters, soldiers, smugglers, partisans und merchants chose the Albrun Pass as a road to cross the Alps. More than forty graves as well as dispersal and settlment remains from the Iron Age to the first centuries after Christ habe been found in the Binntal Valley and testify of the exceptional position of the Albrun Pass.

Two 16th century bridges still remind us of the importance of the so-called military road that came from Grengiols: the Schärt Bridge, built around 1540, just before the Twingi Gorge, and the elegant archbridge of the hamlet Schmidigehischere, built in 1564, witness to a very busy transit traffic up to the north at the end of the Middle Age.

In the Federal Inventory of the Hirtorical Roads of Switserland the military road connecting Grengiols to Binn is listed as "of national importance", as are various sections from Binn to the Albrun Pass.

Twingi Gorge: "Bottleneck"

In 1917 Binn first asked fo a new traffic road to replace the old one built in 1863-64. It was only built 13 years later. Thanks to the financial support of neighbouring communities, work on the Ernen-Binn section began in 1930. The first two sections led from Ernen to Ausserbinn and then from Ausserbinn to the entrance of the Twingi Gorge. The third part through the Twingi Gorge was created until 1932. Work on the last section to Schmidigehischere was delayed until spring 1939. Then in the same year, the first postal bus crossed the Twingi Gorge from Steinmatten to Binn. 

The road through the Twingi still remained unsafe, especially in winter, and the village of Binn was often cut off from the outside world for weeks. That is why, in 1964-65, the road was moved into the mountain with the construction of a tunnel. At the same time, the road from Ernen to Binn was rebuilt. 

After the construction of the tunnel, annual maintenance work on the Twingi road was stopped. Avalanche, rockfalls, storms and landslides damaged the Twingi road throughout the years. In the summer of 2010, the Binntal Nature Park began to rebuilt the road. The pavements, the road itself, the dry-stoned walls and the balustrades have been restored. 

The national road with the section of the Twingi Gorge and the Albrun Pass are not the only routes in the Binntal Valley to be listed in the Federal Inventory of Historical Roads of Switserland. Diffent sections of roads throughout the park area have the same honour. Also of national importance are the roads from Lax that crosses Ernen and Mühlebach or the old Ernen-Ausserbinn road that crosses Binnegga und Wengi.


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